Most employees' health plan contributions will increase Jan. 1

As part of a university multiyear strategy to keep up with health care costs, most employee contributions to their health insurance will go up on Jan. 1, as part of overall premium increases to the ISU Plan. All employees enrolled in the HMO plan will pay monthly increases between $5 and $48. Employees enrolled in the PPO plan will experience smaller monthly increases of $1 to $9. Monthly contributions won't change for two PPO tiers, employee and family, and double spouse family.

The change was shared with ISU employees in a Sept. 28 memo from President Wendy Wintersteen, senior vice president for operations and finance Pam Cain, and vice president for university human resources (UHR) Kristi Darr.

The university worked with a consultant on several proposals that were based on data analysis and comparisons to peer health plans, type of coverage and employer's share of premiums. The university benefits committee discussed the proposals this summer and made a recommendation to senior leaders, who approved the recommendation, as did the state Board of Regents.

Questions about increases to employee contributions may be directed to the office of payroll, benefits and tax,


Medical/Rx plans: Changes to monthly employee contributions


Blue PPO


Blue HMO




Jan. 1, 2022


Jan. 1, 2022

Employee only





Employee and spouse





Employee and children





Employee and family





Double spouse family






Last fall, after seven years of flat health insurance rates for employees, the three senior leaders announced some coverage changes to the plans and an initial premium increase for Jan. 1, and noted additional increases would continue over several years "to address the cost of the program."

Since 1996, Iowa State has used a self-funded model for employee health and dental care and prescription drug service.

The premium increase is the only change planned for 2022. Open enrollment for the new plan year begins Nov. 1. UHR will provide more information about these changes before then via videos, webinars and emails.